We have some relatively heavy iron in our school's machine room: A 300mm
jointer, a sliding table crosscut saw that can take a full sheet of ply, a
600mm thickness planer, etc. The floor is concrete. The crosscut saw can be
bolted to the floor but isn't currently. All of the other machinery sits
directly on the floor.
When several machines are running at once, it can be quite loud in the
machine room and also in the adjacent bench room and office. I am
considering putting the machines on noise deadening mounts.
I would appreciate hearing of others experience doing this. How effective
are the mounts? What type have you used? Is there any downside to putting
the machines on anti-vibration mounts?
Centre for Fine Woodworking
Nelson, New Zealand
Since you are in NZ, do a Google for "vibration isolators"
and see who is close to home.
You will need to know the weight of the equipment you want to isolate
to select the correct isolators.
I have made heavy duty "levelers" using hockey pucks as the foot that rests on
the floor of the shop, held to the machine
by a 3/8" bolt and self locking nut, with large flat washers and a similar nut
holding the puck on the end of the bolt,
the washers spreading the weight load over as large of surface area of the puck
If the machine uses a v-belt drive to transfer power from the motor to the
machine, I usually replace these with composite
link belts, most often going with the "Power-Twist" link belt system from Fenner
Industries. Supposed to be quieter and
more efficient than the v-belts, plus they don't stretch out over time, I can
hear the difference in the noise level. If
the machine has a significant amount of sheet metal covering it that is held on
by sheet metal screws I will often use
rubber grommets or small strips of rubber cut from an old inner tube as a "noise
dampener" between the sheet metal and the
frame of the machine. If the machine has a lot of wasted spaces in the base of
the inside machine frame I will sometimes
spray some "ready-foam" in these areas to absorb noise as well. If you set up
the machine and bolt it down, or put it on
big levelers then run it and listen to what area of the running machine is
producing the unwanted noise and utilize the
above mentioned techniques or ones you invent for your specific situation you
can reduce power equipment noise in most
cases by up to 50%!! Fan safety guards can also generate a lot of unnecessary
noise as well. Good Luck! regards, Joe.
As a former shipboard engineer I spent a lot of time on this trying to
reduce ship (submarine) noise.
The biggest problem is the hard contact with the floor.
Try breaking that with different materials.
I think something as simple as a single piece of rubber sheet under the feet
will make a huge difference.
There are some heavy rubber materials that would make a big difference, even
small pieces of carpet under the feet qould be a start although they might
slide a bit. Not sure you want to be chasing that sheet goods saw across
If you have an industrial hardware supplier down there you could start with
There are manufactured mounts available but they will be pricey.
You coupld also try a laminate of diferent materials such as a couple pieces
of rubber sandwiched over a piece of MDF. Not sure if you call it by the
same name or not. It is a brown pressed material. Old trade name was
I don't know that status of the legal industry in Nelson but in the
States, if I were in the same situation, I would be very careful of
amateur installations. In an educational environment with minor children
involved (you don't say this but I make the assumption) the legal
industry would love you. Especially if (when) a kid gets hurt, even if
the mounts are not at fault. You have made modifications to the
equipment not authorized by the manufacturer.
It's a hell of an environment where you have to make these
considerations. In the interim I would advise some sort of hearing
protection just in case. My hearing is poor after working in a very
noisy factory for 30 years.
Keep us advised of what you do.
St. Louis, MO USA
BTW: I am not a lawyer and don't play one on TV.
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